Change for the better
THE Hyundai i45 drives a lot better for 2011. It’s the same for the ix35. The South Korean couple are still not in the sports-car class, but a preview drive wrapped around the opening of the Australian International Motor Show highlights the changes made to Hyundai’s new heroes.
The i45 now has a smoother, cushier ride and much improved straight-line stability and the ix35 feels more in touch with the road, instead of wobbling around over broken surfaces.
It’s taken less than six months to get the cars tweaked for Australia, which shows a remarkable commitment to Australian customers. Then again if it was so easy we have to ask why the suspension work wasn’t done in the first place? The answer is pretty simple: the top people at Hyundai didn’t know what they didn’t know.
The decision makers thought the i45 and ix35 were just fine for Australians and Australian roads, and only realised they had made a mistake when the carsGuide crew— and some other experienced road testers including former Wheels editor Peter Robinson— began to complain. Hyundai reacted quickly to the complaints and the changes were also accelerated when Kia, which has an ix35 twin called the Sportage, turned out a much better SUV drive thanks to local suspension work by Graeme Gambold.
The work has all gone into simple things like springs, shock absorbers and anti-roll bars— though the costlier Amplitude Selective Dampers are also fitted across the i45 line— which proves Hyundai was close in the first place.
Now the job is done and Hyundai has changed forever in Australia. It’s an important switch and one which will make things even tougher for its opposition.